Human settlements

Renewable energy

Solar photovoltaics 15: Queen Victoria Market urban integrated photovoltaics

Renewable Energy Commercialisation in Australia, Australian Greenhouse Office, 2003
NOTE: The status of these projects will have changed since the time of publication, and project contacts may also have changed.

Melbourne City Council is installing urban integrated solar panels on the roofs of the historic Queen Victoria Market.

The historic Queen Victoria Market in the centre of Melbourne is the largest tourist attraction in Victoria. The popularity of the market makes it an ideal location to showcase renewable energy in an urban environment and consequently Melbourne City Council is installing solar panels on the market roofs.

Queen Victoria markets roof

The council, supported by a grant of $750,000 under the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program, is installing 1,850 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of sheds C, D and E of the market. The panels will produce 250 megawatt hours of electricity a year, equivalent to the average electricity consumption of 63 houses. It is estimated that the project will result in 369 tonnes of greenhouse gases being saved per year.

Purely by chance, the existing roofing is already orientated to the north. When combined with the natural tilting of the roofs, this happy coincidence will ensure maximum output from the panels and minimise installation costs.

Equally as important as the greenhouse gas reductions from the production of renewable energy, this project intends to lead to planning solutions for an ecologically sustainable urban environment. It is hoped that this project will illustrate the potential for using "dead" urban spaces such as shed roofs in cities around the country. It will also show that new technologies can be "culturally integrated" with existing heritage architecture, contributing to architectural expression.

A number of aspects of this project have been designed in order to derive maximum benefit from the attention its famous location will attract. Once construction is completed, details on the technical and commercial performance of the cells will be made available for public circulation. In addition an information display will draw the attention of the considerable numbers of passers by to renewable energy in general and solar photovoltaic technology in particular. It is also intended that the project will be used as a basis of new course material in related programs at the University of Melbourne.

The end result will be an urban integrated photovoltaic array that contributes to the urban environment in more ways than just its performance.

Queen Victoria markets roof

For more information please contact

Melbourne City Council
GPO Box 1603M
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel (03) 9658 9658
Fax (03) 9654 4854
Internet www.melbourne.vic.gov.au

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